Monday, 19 April 2010

The Barnard Challenge - Year One!

A continuing charity project

2010: 29th July - 6th August

In support of Spirit Aid
"Spirit Aid attempts to hand back a better,healthier, safer and more just world to the children of earth."

Supported by Triumph Motorcycles
and The Workers' Beer Company

In 1885, Alfred Barnard began the journey which would lead to the publication of his legendary book The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom.

In the course of a year, he visited every working whisky distillery in the UK and what would become the Republic of Ireland.

Now 125 years after it all began, two motorcyclists will celebrate his journey with one of their own. In the first week of August, broadcaster and author Tom Morton and editor of Whisky Magazine Rob Allanson will visit distilleries in Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Wales, including Scotland's most northerly and southerly.

Beginning at Highland Park in Orkney (northernmost), the pair will travel to Wick (Old Pulteney, northernmost on mainland) and then to Dalmore near Alness. From there they go to Scotland's southernmost distillery, Bladnoch in Wigtown. Then Bushmills in Antrim, Midleton in Cork, Penderyn in Wales and St George's in Norwich. Finally, they will travel back north to Beauly, site of the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, where they will conduct the Barnard Challenge Whisky Tasting, using whisky from the eight distilleries visted.

This will establish The Barnard Challenge as a non-competitive charity event to be undertaken in the future. The aim in years to come will be for individuals and teams to visit the same eight distilleries, travelling in the most imaginitive ways possible. From walking to pedal cycling, tandems to horseback, it is hoped that the Barnard Challenge will become a fund-raising institution year by year.

In 2010 the journey will include:

- The Barnard Challenge Website. Updated day by day by Tom and Rob with a weblog which will include words, pictures and video.
Following the actual journey, the site will provide a clearing house for future attempts at The Barnard Challenge

- A live concert in Inverness as part of the Belladrum Festival Fringe.

- Celebrity pillion rides

- Local and national press coverage

- High profile feature coverage in Whisky Magazine, the world's best-selling publication of its type.

- Barnard Challenge whisky tasting at Belladrum Festival, to include showing of video from trip

- Tom Morton's national BBC Radio Scotland show will be broadcast for the first three days of the challenge.